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#460019 - 03/12/13 09:31 AM Today's Belize News: March 12, 2013
Marty Offline


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The March 10th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Two Villagers Beaten In Separate Incidents In Unitedville:
    Two male persons have been detained as the search continues for another two comprising a group of four young men suspected to have attacked and injured two men in separate incidents in the western village of Unitedville on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. In the first reported incident, Unitedville resident Rosa Macharro reported to the police that she was at home at around 8:30 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2013, when her husband, Miguel Macharro, arrived at home in a taxi from a trip to Guatemala City. The husband was reportedly unlocking the gate to enter the yard when he was approached by a group of four young men one of whom is said to have asked him for a dollar. He reportedly ignored the request and this was when he was allegedly attacked with sticks and a machete by the group.
  • The UDP Getting Stronger And Stronger:
    As this year’s round of village council elections draw nearer, the number of supporters seeking to contest these elections for the United Democratic Party (UDP) is growing exponentially. This new phenomenon has resulted in the Party having to conduct an unprecedented number of conventions across the country. Two recent such conventions were held over the past two consecutive weekends in the western villages of San Antonio in the Cayo Central Constituency and the other in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo West Constituency. In the San Antonio convention which was held between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 24, an astonishing 601 villagers, of the 972 registered voters on the voters list for the village, flocked to the polls to cast their votes for one of two candidates seeking to contest the upcoming elections as the UDP Chairman candidate for their Village.
  • First historic National Communication System installed:
    For the first time, the Ministry of Health has established a National Communications System to network with the Public health providers across the country. Enhanced communications have already been established between Northern Regional Hospital, Southern Regional Hospital and Central Health Region since its installation last month. This system will support real-time reporting and communication from incident site directly to the Emergency Operating Center (EOC) at the headquarters in Belmopan. It will also be useful during possible electricity downtime during disasters or emergencies.
  • Third Cohort of Field Epidemiology Training Program commences:
    The Ministry of Health has commenced on the third cohort in a basic level course in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) for participants including, Public Health Inspectors, Public Health Nurses, Laboratory Technicians and Medical officers of the Ministry and from the Belize Defence Force. Objectives of the program include building capacity for front line responders in the detection, surveillance, response, analysis and prevention associated with high priority public health problems.
  • Nutrition Unit conducts training to improve Dietary Services at Hospitals:
    In an effort to improve on Dietary Services within the regional and district hospitals across the country, the Nutrition Unit of the Ministry hosted a Dietary training session at Southern Regional Hospital Kitchen with cooks, dietary aides and dietary supervisors to improve on the quality of food preparation in hospitals. During a short theory session, participants were educated on specialized diets and the importance of nutrition care and the quality of foods served at patients. A practical session was conducted in the preparation of nine commonly used recipes. These recipes included Corn, Oatmeal, Squash and Rice Porridges, whole wheat Johnny cakes and tortillas, soy milk and preparing herbal seasonings mixture.
  • World Cancer Day 2013:
    A Cancer Symposium was held at the Bliss Center in observation of World Cancer Day celebrated globally February 4th. It was a night of facts, statistics and survivor’s stories. In the Caribbean, Central and South America, cancer remains as the second leading cause of death. Dr, Francis Morey, National Tuberculosis Coordinator, at the Minstry was among the presenters featured that night at the symposium. He mentioned that in Belize more than 10% of annual deaths are related to cancer. During the 5 year period, 2007-2011, there were a total of 857 cancer deaths and almost half of these occurred in persons less than 65 years of age.
    BELPO joins with groups from countries around the world in celebrating International Day of Action For Rivers on 14 March.The aim on this Day of Action for Rivers is to bring awareness about the importance of our rivers to our lives. BELPO’s struggle against destructive dams and the current model of water and energy management is a struggle against a social order that puts profits before people. BELPO rejects the spread of dam projects that threaten our rivers and the downstream communities; BELPO rejects the promotion of intensive mineral and oil exploitation in our watersheds. Every year BELPO joins millions across the world to celebrate victories such as river restoration, dam removal and theprohibition of the building of dams. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.
  • Relocation Of Gang Members:
    I am honoured to express my perspective, through your renowned newspaper, about the situation whereby the Government has decided to relocate some gang members of Belize City. As a concerned citizen of Belize, I hope to shed some light on the absurd distribution of numerous, dangerous gang members across our county. On January 8, 2013, a massacre was committed in the heart of a gang territory known as George Street. This unfortunate incident caused the citizens of Belize, especially Belize City, to become afraid assuming that the George Street Gang (GSG) would respond to this incident by terrorising civilians. As a result, the Government had a meeting with the gang members. Among all the solutions found to alleviate this situation, the one that struck me the most, was the idea of relocating gang members.
  • Hugo Chavez's Body To Stay On Display In Venezuela:
    The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is to be embalmed and put on display after his funeral, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro says. The decision reflects the huge crowds queuing to pay their respects in Caracas, where he is lying in state. Mr Chavez's body will be moved to a military museum after the state funeral on Friday, Mr Maduro said. Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. More than two million mourners have already filed past his body at the military academy in Caracas, queuing for hours to see him lying in state.
  • Brazil's Bruno Fernandes Jailed Over Ex-lover's Murder:
    Brazilian football star Bruno Fernandes has been given a 22-year prison sentence for ordering the murder of a former girlfriend. He was also found guilty of hiding the body of Eliza Samudio and kidnapping their baby son in 2010. The ex-Flamengo goalkeeper admitted to knowing that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, but denied ordering the killing. He said two other defendants in the case carried out the murder. The murder has attracted intense media interest in Brazil where it has been compared to the OJ Simpson trial in the US. Fernandes, who was hugely popular with fans, had been tipped to play for Brazil in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:
    It is difficult to put on paper the beauty of watching the sun rise over the ocean while heading out to sea for a day on the water. I have seen Belize’s extensive biodiversity while snorkeling off of the cayes, including a variety of sharks and stingrays. The United States and Belize have long worked hand in hand to protect our natural heritage, especially in the sea. Sharks and manta rays are important to ocean ecosystems, and the United States is concerned about the conservation status of species that are increasingly affected by international trade. These species are all biologically vulnerable to overexploitation, as a long-lived, low productivity species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark and manta ray parts and products, including fins, meat, and gill plates.
  • Carlos Slim Tops Forbes Rich List For Fourth Year:
    Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest billionaires for a fourth year. The magazine estimates that Mr Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $73bn (£49bn). He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on $67bn. Famed investor Warren Buffett has dropped back to fourth place, with third spot going to Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara fashion chain. Record profits, and a resulting surge in the share price of the holding company Inditex that he owns, has propelled Mr Ortega from fifth place, leapfrogging Mr Buffett.
  • Processed Meat 'Early Death' Link:
    Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health. The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat. The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. Lifestyle factors: It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.
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The San Pedro Sun

ABC Pre-School celebrates Child Stimulation Month
With fun activities like Hug Day, Grandparents Day, Parents Day, Aerobics Day, Sports Day and more, it seems like pre-school children have a lot to look forward to throughout March. Under the theme “Molding today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders”, the early childhood education initiative for child stimulation month sees a lot of interaction with children attending pre-school. It is a way to keep them interested, active and excited for learning. ABC Pre-school is always kind enough to share with The San Pedro Sun the various activities their students enjoy during the school day. Here are but a few photos of a visit from family for “Family Talent Day”. Now, we know Chef Amy from Wild Mango’s can turn the basic potato into tasty vittles, but did you know that The Phoenix’s Mark Maggiotto moonlights as Magic Mark? We have photos to prove his magician’s talent!

Women in Art Exhibit launches at the Bliss
In celebration of Women’s Month 2013, the Institute of Creative Arts, in conjunction with the National Institute of Culture and History, held its annual Women in Art exhibit launch at the Belisle Art Gallery inside the Bliss Institute. 20 female artists are featured in the exhibit curated by Melissa Quan-Nuñez, and on Thursday, March 7th, the display was officially launched in the presence of artists, media and art lovers. Women's Art Exhibit Launched-1An impassioned, uplifting speech by keynote speaker and artist Gayla Fuller urged women to encourage each other, to uplift each other. Her remarks were met with enthusiastic applause, and set the precedent for the mood of the evening, where encouragement and praise was the order of the night for those who submitted their pieces to be on display for the month of March. But before the launch could be complete, there was an order to the business of this launch, and next up was a model wearing a dress by one of Belize’s premier designers, the young and extremely talented Rebecca Stirm. A poetry reading by (writer) Kim Vasquez followed. She was tasked with reading “I Am” written by Christina Sallsbury.

Positively Picturesque, Peaceful Placencia
Over the last several years Placencia, located in the Stann Creek District of Belize has grown from a sparsely populated fishing community to a popular tourism destination and ex-patriot haven. Next to Ambergris Caye, it is the most visited locale in the country, and with a road trip itching to happen it was time we ventured to the mainland to check it out. With an invite to a wine and cheese tasting by our good friends Anna and Gunter who had recently moved their business to Placencia from San Pedro, and the lure of the annual Placencia Arts and Music Festival the same weekend, what more reason did we need? So after renting a car from the nice people at Crystal Auto Center we were south bound to the land of “Barefoot Perfect” beaches. Once we turned off of the Southern Highway to the peninsula we admired the miles of sandy beaches bordering a panoramic ocean view to the east and the Placencia Lagoon with vistas of the Maya Mountain Range to the west. The views were an irresistible slice of Caribbean heaven and the appeal of Placencia unfolded before us. At the very end of the 16 mile-long peninsula lays the once sleepy Placencia Village, now wide awake with thriving restaurants, bars and resorts. This area is usually what folks are referring to when they speak of the Placencia destination; where the last few miles of the peninsula is populated with beachside and lagoon side resorts before passing through the village and ending at the marina. We were surprised at how spread out things were and discovered there is a lot more to this tendril of terrain than just the end of the isle. If you travel there via road like we did,you will pass through colorfully named locations such as Maya Beach, Seine Bight Village and Rum Point.

Misc Belizean Sources

Introducing... the newest book launched by the Belize National Library Service and Information Systems. The only comprehensive written history of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist: Through the Ages.

Looking at FAD management across the OECS
he Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) is a relatively new technology in the region which allows fishers to capture more fish with less effort, but in order to reduce the risk of overfishing, sound monitoring and management measures must be put in place. This is why the Secretariat of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have collaborated to organize the CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop for OECS Countries, due to be held on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 in Dominica. The CRFM/JICA Workshop on FAD Fishery Management will build on work completed under the FAD pilot component of the CARICOM/CRFM/JICA Project: Study on Formulation of a Master Plan on the Sustainable Use of Fisheries Resources for Coastal Community Development in the Caribbean, which commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2012. The CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop will review and share research results and best practices in the construction, use and management of FADs as tools for sustainable development, management and conservation of large pelagic resources in the region. Officers in charge of FAD fisheries management in the 6 of the OECS countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines; officers of regional and international organizations/institutions involved in FAD fisheries management activities; and Okinawa Environment Club representatives of Japan are expected to participate in the upcoming meeting. The full reports are available at www.caricom-fisheries.com.

SI United Tie in Placencia
The San Ignacio United ventured down to Placencia for the game this weekend. They tied, giving the SI United another point.

Galen Eagles at Cayo Welcome Center
The Galen Eagles Band played at The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night. The Cayo Welcome Center was their stage, and everyone had a great time watching, and in some cases, dancing. The link, since fb isn't working correctly - get used to that!

#460020 - 03/12/13 09:31 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 12, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The Reporter

People Power Minister Farrakhan’s Message
In a previous attempt to address the issue of crime and violence and the damaging impact it has caused the “old capital” of Belize, I zeroed in on several root causes. I borrowed from media journalists, sociologists and even from the American Journal of Psychiatry, which suggested that the root cause of crime may be biological and not social. It was suggested in the journal that some people may be born with brain deficiencies which make them prone to violence. Other root causes that were submitted were poverty, joblessness and even corruption in various government administrations. In my article published in the Reporter of Sunday, May 20, 2012, I highlighted moral poverty as the culprit, as I believe it created the most damaging effect on our Belizean society. A person raised without parents or guardians with sound morals, fail to feel joy at other people’s joy, pain at others’ pain, satisfaction when one does right, or remorse when one does wrong. Criminal environments are rampant in Belize and become pernicious to the moral growth and development of children. It begs the question – how did society transform into what it is today – losing all its traditional values? Several factors contributed to the demise of what is now termed “southside Belize.” During the early 1970s the city began to expand. People were carving out their plot of land on the reclaimed mangrove swampland resulting in the now Kings Park area.

Caesar Ridge murder cold and calculated!
Eugene “Corrupt” Palacio, 38, was executed in front of his relative’s house on Caesar Ridge Road on Sunday night. Belize City Police reported that around 9:30 Sunday night Palacio was shot and killed while standing near a shop in the area. A lone gunman, coming from Gill Street, shot him in the head and chest and made good his escape.

Burrell Boom resident booked on drug trafficking and other charges
Eugene Henderson, 37, was arraigned on a charge of drug trafficking and three other offences, when he appeared in the # 4 Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Henderson was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and obstruction.

Your secrets are weighing you down
Have you ever held onto a secret? Been weighed down by a secret? Felt the burden of secrecy? They way we talk about it, you’d think a secret was a physical entity you had to carry around with you from place to place. Surprising new research finds that might not be so far from the truth.

Nazarene High boys lead softball playoffs
The boys of Nazarene High School are leading the Belize City High Schools Softball playoffs organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association, which began at the Rogers’ Stadium on Monday, March 4. Jerome Carr led the Nazarene boys to a 12-10 win over their arch rivals, the boys of Anglican Cathedral College on Monday. Only Bruce Hilton scored for Nazarene in the top of the first, and ACC led 4-1 when Dominique Gabourel, Barrington Wade, Ramsey Trumbach and Jaime Pook scored in the bottom of the first for Anglican Cathedral College.

Nazarene High girls lead softball playoffs
The undefeated girls of Nazarene High School are leading the Belize City high schools softball playoffs organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association, which began at the Rogers’ Stadium on Monday, March 4. Nazarene’s alternate pitcher Elma Wade struck out three batters as she led the Nazarene girls to their eighth victory: 13-7 over the girls of Edward P. Yorke High School.

FFB national team coach jumps ship
Coach Roy Sherrier Lewis has called it quits as coach for Belize’s national men’s football “A” team. Lewis tendered his resignation letter to the Football Federation of Belize before he left Belize for good on Wednesday, March 6. FFB President Ruperto Vicente called a press conference at the Biltmore Hotel on Thursday morning to give the nation the bad news, announcing that until the FFB can hire another coach, the national team would continue preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup tournament in the United States this summer, under the direction of Assistant Coach Charles Slusher.

No new taxes, more jobs – PM Barrow promises
“Absolutely no new taxes and no spending cuts!” and more jobs, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow promised the nation as he read the 2013-2014 budget in the House of Representatives in Belmopan on Friday, March 1.

Belize sends delegation to Hugo Chavez’s funeral
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and a delegation of Belizean officials have left for Venezuela to attend the funeral service for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 58, who passed away Tuesday afternoon, March 5.

PUP gives Barrow failing grade
The incumbent United Democratic Party administration has failed, the Opposition, People’s United Party said Wednesday. In an early afternoon press conference at Independence Hall, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, flanked by his thirteen other parliamentarians, lashed out at the Barrow administration, saying that under Barrow the country has become a failing state that is marked by rampart corruption, nepotism, a struggling economy, and out-of-control crime.

Border clearing effort was without incident
The Belize Territorial Volunteers set out to demarcate the western border last Saturday, but were surprised by heavily deforested areas, friendly relations with Guatemalans, and representation from the Organization of American States. Armed with 100 machetes, Will Maheia, the volunteers and other supporters made the two kilometre hike from Jalacte village to their out post called “Container Hill”, located some 300 meters form the border.

Street Art Festival III – jamming!
Belizean artists offered a smorgasbord of creativity, color and music to titillate and tantalize all the senses at the Third Annual Street Art Festival, held on Albert Street in downtown Belize City on Saturday, February 23. There were tattoo artists like Luke Usher of the Slaughterhouse Tattoo Parlor and Steve Mossiah of the Stinging Scorpio Tattoo Studio, who use the human skin as their canvas, offering prospective customers many innovative designs in tattoo art.

Guatemala’s ‘Comision de Belice’ replaced
Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carreras announced late last week that his government has dissolved the Comision de Belice, the Guatemalan Council that was charged with handling all aspects of Guatemala claim to Belize.

Baby girl with HIV cured
A baby girl in the US born with HIV appears to have been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, doctors say. The Mississippi child is now two-and-a-half years old and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. More testing needs to be done to see if the treatment – given within hours of birth – would work for others. If the girl stays healthy, it would be the world’s second reported ‘cure’.

Hugo Chavez dies at 58
Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela, who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced this week.


Green tips and a water taxi ride north to a waterfront resort
Most commonly found in the fridge, baking soda has been a household staple for almost 200 years. It makes a simple environmentally friendly alternative to chemical cleansers and beauty products. I have been using it a long time for both house and beauty. So has blogger Carrie of Letters to my friends back home and she has got Romantic Travel Belize Lara using it too – we all believe in protecting the reef in what ever ay we can. Now onto the waterfront resort part. I am meeting Miranda at Coastal Express for 12:15pm and heading on a boat adventure north. I did this trip by cart once below is a picture – was super fun drive. You will have to wait till tomorrow to see where we ended up The Minnesota Musicians that played yesterday at Cowboy’s pool bar and grill were so good they are going to be at Banana Beach tonight at 5:00pm for a few hours – worth checking out especially since it’s Martini Monday and happy hour starts at 4:00pm.

Day 3 Of the Ruta Maya Canoe Race: A Day Trip for the Bash in Burrell Boom Belize
Yesterday was day 3 of 4 for the Ruta Maya Canoe Race held annually on Baron Bliss weekend in Belize. It’s a pretty grueling endurance test with participants paddling about 180 miles from San Ignacio Belize to Belize City with three overnight stops in between – Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage (the greatest name ever) and Burrell Boom (a close second for greatest name ever). I decided to check it out for the very first time from the small town of Burrell Boom or just “Boom” about a half hour drive outside of Belize City. (By the way, “bram” is a new word I learned yesterday…it just means party or bash.) We arrived pretty early…around 10:30am and there was already a long line of cars waiting to get into the secured parking.

“Indian Reservation” but not in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Far, far easier to get out of the bed in the hotel we are using in Austin. This one is for normal sized people and nothing like the one we slept in when in Dallas. Fully adjusted to the clock change for Daylight Saving Time I got up at a respectable 6.15 am – bit of a lie in but not overly so. Showered, shaved (not Rose,only me),dressed and fed we headed to Georgetown to pick up where we left off yesterday. Me trying to buy a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins. We got there just after 10 am, parked in the very quaint town square just across the road from Tribal Impressions. When I came across Tribal Impressions on the ‘web I envisaged a trading post type outlet on an Indian Reservation not a small shop in a town square.

In a previous article I pointed out that in 2013 (too) many people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, and trying to survive ever-increasing “hard times”. During these very difficult times life gets harder and harder with each passing day. Yet, as of today, I see no public action whatsoever being taken, no suggestions being made, to try to lower the extremely high unemployment rate (especially of highly educated citizens), widespread poverty, gangs openly and violently taking anything and everything they choose from hard-working Belizeans, the dozens of violent and uninvestigated murders, and increasing closures of what were once successful business establishments. It seems as if, somehow or other, we have all inexplicably “learned” to accept our current pitiful and miserable, at times even violent, situations as being our uncontrollable destiny. In other words, it seems as if by unanimous agreement throughout the land, everyone has decided that change for the better in Belize is totally beyond our control, and there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do to improve the current out-of-hand and dangerous situations in which we live today. On the contrary, though, I firmly believe that no one should ever think that change is beyond our control, or that we have no control over the outcome of our actions! In order, though, to ever change the situations in which we live everyday, we must fully believe and accept that we are not helpless! Despite the widespread and deafening apathy within which so many of us live, day in and day out, we should realize that no one is ever destined to suffer. We are not living in a Dickens novel where all living conditions are beyond our control. Each one of us can always do something to change our living situations. However, as the old proverb reminds us, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. For some inexplicable reason, though, it seems as if the entire nation (jewel) chooses to live helpless each day, and suffer poverty and criminal rates that continue to soar higher and higher each day. No one is taking a “first step” toward changing and improving the situation in which we currently must live. Why, though, do we continue to live in a conditioned and helpless state, give up all hope, and put forth no effort whatsoever to change? It reminds me of students who get homework assignments or individual class projects to complete by specific deadlines, yet keep putting it off and putting it off. They will find every single excuse under the sun why they cannot do the work; consequently, they fail the class for not doing the class work. Many brilliant psychologists have extensively studied and written about this classic characteristic called “learned helplessness”.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: T' Final Oatmeel Cookie
Wunderful advice that would surelee include a purrfeck oatmeel cookie shared with someone y'all luv! Oatmeel cookies have always bee mah favourite cookie and altho I have made and posted uther gf oatmeel cookie recipes thay were nevr quite good enough fer me t'stop a'trine t'week a bettr recipe vershun. Thishere Final Oatmeel Cookie will satisfy that fer me! Thishere cookie frum mixin' t'eatin has nairy uf t'undesirabull characteristics that a glute a'loose cookie a'ken have. Wile t'recipe is a fairlee large one, xtrey cookies a'ken be froze er freeze sum uf t'dough fer future ##Q##warm out uf t'ove##Q## cookies that leeve a kitchin mess-a'loose!

International Sources

A Self-Sufficient Retirement in Cayo, Belize
The little English-speaking country of Belize has long been known for its handful of Caribbean islands lying just offshore the mainland, especially Ambergris Caye of Survivor fame. However, another face of Belize is also beginning to attract attention. This country’s lush, mountainous interior, known as the Cayo District, is drawing the notice of retirees interested in a lifestyle that values self-sufficiency and independence more than Caribbean sand and seashores. Many people, reaching this stage of life, are reminded of what’s really important. This realization is spurring a new generation of folks looking for opportunities around the globe to embrace a self-sufficient, resilient lifestyle. In this context, Belize stands out. As recently as a few years ago, the numbers of foreign retirees living in Belize’s Cayo District numbered only a few dozen. Today, small but ever-expanding communities of expats and retirees seeking a back to basics lifestyle have established themselves in this pristine land of rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest. Here in the Cayo, colorful flowers and fruit-laden trees bloom year-round, and diverse species of birds are everywhere. In the Cayo you also find well-manicured productive Mennonite farmland. The region is reminiscent of the hills of Pennsylvania. If not for the palm trees, you might not know you were in Belize. The soil in the Cayo is fertile and rich, and the Mennonite farmers who work it produce most of Belize's food supply.

Central America’s Belize
In somewhat bizarre fashion, typical of the wacky existential philosophy of Yogi Berra, the great Yankee catcher, anonymity might be the key attraction of Belize. However, Belize might not be quite the same after Prince Harry used his well-documented partying skills on the first night of his Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Caribbean and Brazil. Within hours of arriving, Harry was sipping rum and dancing enthusiastically with the local women – proving to be a diplomatic hit. Located only two hours from the U.S. mainland, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, so tourists can chat here with almost everyone. The more tangible assets of Belize include the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, palm-studded coral sand islands, myriad exotic birds and abundant marine wildlife. Belize has refreshing jungle rivers with lush forest canopy and, if you enjoy history, it’s the gateway to the ancient Mayan world with stone remnants scattered everywhere, including temples and an extensive cave system used for sacred ceremonies. The British arrived here in the 1700s, and they built sugar mills and colonial buildings amidst the spectacular jungle and impressive waterfalls. Temperatures vary from 21ºC to 34ºC during the year. Annual rainfall averages 1.2 metres in the north and 2.7 metres in the south during the rainy season, June-August. For snowbirds, the driest months are February-May with a median temp of 23°C, ideal for water sports such as scuba, snorkeling and fishing. The immense barrier reef runs the entire 298 km length of the country, bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. The mainland is only 110 km wide. Nature is the big draw in Belize with manatees, monkeys, keel-billed toucans, rare orchids, green iguanas and blue morpho butterflies, jaguars and 570 bird species. Diving attractions are the famed Blue Hole and three coral atolls: Lighthouse Reef, Glover’s Reef and Turneffe Islands. One may visit partially excavated Maya sites such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Lamanai. In the country’s vast caves, you see Mayan fire pits, artifacts and skeletons of human sacrifices. You can hike, tube or canoe, sometimes with headlamps!

Help Wanted: Seeking Young Hemingway To Cover Retired Americans In Belize
But there was time to redeem myself in this last remaining job. I would accompany a tour group to Central America and write it all up for the newsletter. On a January afternoon I landed in the capital of Belize City, which was not a city at all but a small inland slum. Another hurricane had just blown through and the public phones didn't work. British Honduras had been a libertarian/pirate paradise during its British colonial history, and the new Belizean capital was about what you would expect of a pirate town in the year 2000: brightly painted plywood shacks and half-built cinderblock shops selling bootleg copies of Windows 98, mud roads and goats standing atop rusted cars, the descendants of slaves and pirates gossiping in the streets. It was delightful, but it wasn't what brought the tour group to Belize. Our schedule called for dinner in the capital and then a short flight across the water to Ambergris Caye with its white beaches and American retirees. Dinner, in a very plain restaurant lit by rows of fluorescent lights, was where I first met my traveling companions, all retired or close to it. We had fish and rice and beans while they gave their reasons for fleeing America. It was too expensive, health care would bankrupt them all, drug gangs were taking over, Clinton was sending the good jobs to China, and these new hippies were going to riot nationwide like they'd just done at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle. Stocks were falling and the dot-com bubble was about to pop. And all over the world, in quiet little towns, expatriate Americans were living the kind of retirement they deserved, with money for eating out and other retired people for socializing and very affordable housekeepers and prescription refills. The problem was that the retirement colonies quickly developed reputations and then the prices shot up.

VIDEO: Drake University spends spring break in Belize
Every year, a group of students at Drake University's School of Education travel to Belize to volunteer with kids and teachers at an elementary school. Hear from the coordinators and a student about the memorable trip.

How to Choose Your Battles and Fight for What Actually Matters
Any moment in life can turn into a heated argument, but most shouldn't. Conversely, you may not have the energy or confidence to stand up for yourself when it matters.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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